‘You Don’t Know How Good You Got Something Till It’s Gone’: Shaquille O’Neal Admits His Faults Led to Divorce From Ex-Wife Shaunie Henderson

Shaquille O’Neal is being open and transparent about why his marriage to ex-wife Shaunie Henderson ended. The former couple married in 2002 and finalized their divorced in 2011, following rumors of infidelity and other issues in their relationship. They’ve raised five children together: Shareef, 22, Amirah, 21, Shaqir, 19, Me’arah, 16, and O’Neal’s 25-year-old son, Myles, from a previous relationship.

While speaking with People Magazine for their December cover story, the former NBA star took full responsibility for why things didn’t work.

“I was a d–khead,” said Shaq. “You don’t know how good you got something until it’s gone.”

Shaunie Henderson poses with the five children she shared with Shaquille O’Neal. (Photo: @iamshaunie/Instagram.)

The 50-year-old failed to explain what he did to the “Basketball Wives” executive producer to be considered a “d–khead.” He said he went from having a house “full of noise and relatives” to having a quiet house. “The silence starts to get to you,” he said.

After owning his faults, the former Los Angles Lakers player is still hopeful he may get married again. He said, “If it happens again, my next wife will be like, “He’s wonderful! He’s the best ever!’ Because I’ve learned from my mistakes.”

Between his mistakes as a husband and being a professional athlete, Shaq confessed to the outlet that he missed out on several turning points in his children’s lives. At this age, he enjoys watching them blossom into their own, especially the couple’s three eldest children, who play basketball in college or NBA G League.

Before Shaunie, Shaq was in a relationship with Arnetta Yarbrough, the mother of his 25-year-old daughter, Taahirah. Since their divorce, Shaq has dated a variety of younger women, including model and author Laticia Rolle. In 2010, the former Boston Celtics player got engaged to 40-year-old actress and reality star Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander. They called it quits two years later.

Shaunie’s divorce seemingly inspired the VH1 series “Basketball Wives,” which follows the ex-wives and former partners of NBA players. She kept Shaq’s last name O’Neal in the show, but pursued a relationship with model and actor Marion Yates, who was 12 years younger. They began dating in 2010, and broke up later in 2016.

Fast forward to 2022: Shaunie has officially changed her last name after marrying Pastor Keion Henderson. As previously reported, the loving couple dated for two years before getting engaged in November 2021. They tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony in Anguilla in May 2022.

The Hendersons recently appeared on “Sherri” earlier this month, where Shaunie revealed she had never been properly proposed to. Host Sherri Shepherd began digging into their union and how the 47-year-old felt the moment Henderson got down on one knee at a friend’s dinner.

“First of all I thought this was his friend’s birthday dinner the whole night. He started talking about love and I’m looking at him like ‘Why are you doing this? This is this man’s birthday,’ ” she explained. “But then he came around the table and got on his knee and I was l just like my heart melted because again I have never been officially proposed to.” 

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